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She Said: 3 Important Events In 3 Months And 3 People To Please!

By Jolene Jang
~ Guest Blogger

Traditionally, the bride defines the wedding and all that is related, from the venue, theme, invitation, menu, and so forth. It’s great to get your way with everything; however the consequence is having all the stress that comes from being the main person managing the activities. So I welcomed my fiancé’s offer to take on his share of the wedding planning aspects. That is, until I learned that he wanted a destination wedding via cruise ship.

When I first heard about this I was hoping he was saying it on a whim. I soon learned that this has been a lifelong dream of his. He assured me this is the way to go and backed it up with his logical rationales. Personally, my take on destination weddings is someone else plans it and after the trip, you leave all the memories in some foreign location…not what I had in mind for my wedding. The main problem is it restricts the attendance financially. I pictured my wedding celebration to be a big party with many of my friends, families, and colleagues. Realistically, how many people would be able to take 7 days off and cough up the cash for the travel expenses? Close family members don’t have a choice (however, most of my families are retired anyways), but it’s too much to ask of our friends and colleagues.

So my options were...

  • Find another man
  • Chip away at him to change his mind
  • Make sure we have a big party reception at the home front
Option “a” is a lot more work, seeing how we already have joint accounts and own a house together. Plus, it would be difficult to meet someone with my level of work ethic, yet who is also fun. I forgot to mention, my complimentary services I would lose, like gourmet dinners, photo and video shoots, on-call techie, maintenance and cosmetician. Efficiency is high on my list of values, so option “a” is crossed off.

Option “b” would take strategic planning and a tremendous amount of effort on my part to reprogram him (something you don’t want to do regardless). When I googled for a solution and posted a question on social network sites, I was unable to find adequate solutions.

Option “c” is the answer by process of elimination. We like fun festivities and so the more the merry. It’s the “his” and “hers” events. Everyone wins.

But just when you think the situation is resolved, fate throws you another curve ball; enters stage left …the mother-in-law.


For Vinh’s mom, this is a really important event in the Vietnamese culture. It is her eldest son being wedded off. This signifies a transition to independence and the son would typically move out and get a place of his own with the new bride. Though in Vietnam, for families who are not as well off, the new wifie would move into the husband’s family’s house with his parents and possibly other relatives like the grandparents and siblings. Everyone is delighted because… yup, you guessed it … an extra pair hands to cater to the men of the families. Hahaha, good one. Ain’t going to happen with an Americanized gal, I’ll tell you that much.

Fortunately, this isn’t the case with my fiancé’s family. However, Vinh’s mom insisted that we have the traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony before anything else. Further this ceremony has to take place on a specific date and at a specific time (more on this in future blogs)! As for my folks, they know me well enough to support my decisions. No pulling rank here; not with the independent thinking they have instilled in me. My folks appreciate tradition, but are always out to have fun. At the same time, they fully support Vinh’s folks in following what traditions are necessary to ensure a happy marriage for Vinh and me. How can you argue with that??!!

As I look at my calendar for the next three months, I have major events besides our wedding with my Fun Specialist Business. I feel a bit faint at the thought of it all; fortunately my 5’ 1” figure won’t result in serious injuries from the fall. How will my fiancé and I execute all of this? I don’t know at this point, but I do believe utilizing technology will be a key component. It is serious crunch time!

Here is our timeline of major wedding related events. We have the dates and the vision, but are lacking the contracts in hand. We would appreciate any comments or suggestions to help solidify our plans. Timeline for the 3 wedding events:

  • March 20, Friday, Vietnamese Ceremony in family homes, reception at O’Asian Restaurant
  • April 26, Sunday Cruise Destination Wedding, Mexican Riviera, Venue in Puerto Vallarta TBA
  • May 9, Saturday Westernized Reception (The Party), Venue in Greater Seattle TBA
Question of the day: Like many bank-roll-challenged wedding couples, we are price conscious. Pitch in your nine cents and share with us your best ways to cut costs and save a penny or two. Your ideas and suggestions are much appreciated. Post them in the comments section below.